Book Buddies serves as a means of connecting SSU students with elementary school children in an attempt to increase literacy.
The program invites elementary school students to spend a half day on campus with SSU service-learning students. Each child is paired up with an SSU student and chooses a book to read with their buddy. Once they have read the book together, the pair then works on making their own book. Afterward, the students have an opportunity to present their books to the group with the help of their buddy. Finally, a storyteller performs for the group.
By creating a day of student-student bonding on a college campus, children are able to accept college as a future reality for themselves. Additionally, by interacting through story-telling, students are able to hone their reading and writing skills effectively. College students are able to demonstrate their leadership skills by serving as a role model for younger students who otherwise may not have opportunities to visit a college campus. By serving in a leadership role, college students are also able to reinforce their place on a college campus through community building and therefore may lead to better retention.